Fascinating Eagle Facts

  • The eagle has long been considered “The King of Birds”, on account of its great strength and rapidity, its elevation of flight and natural ferocity.
  • Eagles are birds of prey in the Accipitridae family and, generally, larger than any other birds of prey.
  • There are approximately 60 different species of eagle, most of them from Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
  • The majority of eagles are found in Eurasia and Africa.
  • Eagles are informally divided into four groups: Sea eagles or fish eagles (a large part of their diets consist mainly of fish), Booted eagles (feathers grow down the legs and cover the toes), Snake or serpent eagles (adapted to hunt reptiles) and Harpy eagles (inhabit tropical forests).
  • Eagles are generally found in pairs, but it’s been documented that they live in groups during extreme weather or areas with very abundant food.
  • Eagles (like all birds of prey) have very large, hooked beaks for ripping flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons.
  • Like all raptors, eagles kill their prey with their talons.
  • An eagle’s beak contains keratin, which means that it grows continuously, just like human hair and fingernails.
  • An eagle eye is among the strongest in the animal kingdom, and sight is the strongest of all the eagle’s senses.
  • Eagles’ eyes have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of the retina (a layer at the back of the eyeball), 4– 6 times stronger than that of the average human, and it is said to be able to spot a rabbit 3.2 kilometers away.
  • Eagles can see five basic colours compared to our three and can detect UV light.
  • Eagle eyes are angled 30 degrees away from the center of the face, which gives 24 eagles a greater field of view.
  • An eagle can rotate its head about 270
    degrees, just like an owl can, to look around.
  • Eagles also have a clear eyelid that protects their precious eyes from dust and dirt.
  • Although some eagles may only weigh around 4.5 kg, their eyes are roughly the same size as those of a human and can take up almost 50% of the head.
  • In most eagle species, females are larger and
    stronger than males.
  • A typical adult male eagle only weighs around 4.1 kg, despite its strength and large size.
  • Eagles have up to 7,000 feathers that
    account for about 5% of their body mass.
  • Eagles vary in sizes, with the little eagle (native to Australia) measuring 45–55 cm in length and weighing 815 g.

  • Philippine eagle (also one of the rarest birds, as it is critically endangered) is considered the largest and strongest species of eagles in the world in terms of length and wing surface, measuring up to 102 cm in length. It may weigh up to 8kg.
  • Eagles are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day and sleep at night.
  • Some eagles, such as the martial eagle, use thermals (columns of hot rising air) to soar for long hours without a single wing beat.
  • Eagles have a specialized mechanism in their feet that allows them to lock in position, so they can sleep while sitting on a branch – similar to horses, who can sleep while standing up.
  • The golden eagle is the fastest eagle in the world with a maximum airspeed of 320 km/h (and second fastest in the world behind the peregrine falcon, which can fly as fast as 389 km/h).
  • Some eagles are built with short wings and long tails, enabling them to hunt in the tight confines of a forest, while others have short tails and broad long wings allowing them to soar high above open plains and water.
  • Eagles have a lifespan of between 14 and 35 years in the wild, depending on species.
  • Although eagles can get older than 35 years, they normally become weaker towards the end of their lives, unable to hunt as they used to.
  • Eagles are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain.
  • What eagles eat depends upon the species and the food that is available to them, but the vast majority of eagles are carnivorous and live on a diet of meat and/or fish.
  • They mostly hunt their prey.
  • Prey includes fish, rabbits, marmots, hares, ground squirrels, mice, and, sometimes, slow-flying birds, reptiles, foxes and even deer.
  • Some species of eagles are scavengers, and primarily eat fish and animals that are already dead.
  • Some eagles can fly hundreds of kilometers while foraging for their food.
  • Eagles do not need to eat every day, instead, they have a special digestive organ known as the cr which stores food, until there is room for it in the stomach.
  • Their digestive system allows them to store a large meal until it is later needed, and prevents the eagle from growing weak if food is scarce for several days or weeks.
  • Eagles are monogamous, so the generally mate for life.
  • They have a strong site a mating pair tend to reuse the same nest year after year or build a nest in the same spot.
  • Nests, composed of sticks, vegetation, and downy feathers, are built by both males and females. This activity is part of their pair bonding.
  • The nests, called eyries, are normally built in tall trees or on high cliffs.
  • The location of the nest varies with species. Bald eagles, for example, most likely nest in tall trees, whereas golden eagles prefer cliff faces or more open areas.
  • The number of eggs laid will depend upon species, but many eagles lay between one and three eggs.
  • The female eagle will spend most of the days keeping her eggs warm, while the male ensures food is brought to the nest.
  • Both males and females share incubation responsibilities, but the female typically spends more time on the nest than the male.
  • It takes around 35 days for eagle eggs to hatch, depending on the eagle species.
  • A young eagle is called an eaglet.
  • It takes a number of years for a baby eagle to grow its talons fully.
  • Eagles are an exceptionally common symbol in heraldry, and being in contrast to the lion (“King of Beasts”).
  • When a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will lose a feather on the other, in order to keep its balance.
  • Relative to their size, eagles’ wings actually contain more power and strength than the wings of an airplane.
  • Eagles have been used in the police and the army several times.
  • In the Netherlands, eagles were trained to help control drones.
  • Eagles are admired all over the world as living symbols of power, freedom and transcendence.

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